The eastern amberwing, Perithemis tenera, is the second smallest dragonfly with a length ranging between 0.8-0.9 in (2-2.2 cm). Geographically speaking, these dragonflies can be seen near slow-moving and quiet waters throughout the USA, east of the Great Plains, and in Mexico in the south. Entomologically speaking, they can be found in the family of skimmers, Libellulidae, and the order Odonata of dragonflies and damselflies. Their scientific name, Perithemis tenera, is a unique blend of Greek and Latin. 'Themis', part of their name refers to a Greek mythological figure, whereas 'tenera' refers to 'delicate', 'soft', and 'tender' in Latin. It also means 'youth'. This dragonfly is referred to as teneral for its adult life's initial days.
The eastern amberwing (Perithemis tenera), has a dazzling appearance. It possesses attractive wings that make its size seem bigger than it really is. A male eastern amberwing dragonfly has pure gold wings whereas a female possesses brown-colored wings or amber wings that are spotted. The female resembles the very small Halloween pennantin in appearance. Both males and females possess rings near their abdomen segments and yellow-colored legs. The abdomen of males as well as females is thick, with the female's abdomen seeming like it is swollen. These radiant dragonflies hunt for small insects, flying over fields with weeds or perched at an edge of woodland on vegetation. If you want to know more about the beautiful gold-winged eastern amberwing species, keep reading!
If you love reading these eastern amberwing fun facts, you must check out our green stink bug facts and ghost ant facts too!
What do they prey on?
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
How long are they?
0.8-0.9 in (2-2.2 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Orange, red, yellow, gold, white, and brown
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Streams, creeks, marshes, ponds, and lagoons
USA, Canada, and Mexico
Eastern Amberwing Interesting Facts
What type of animal is an eastern amberwing?
The eastern amberwing is a tiny dragonfly that is a member of the family Libellulidae, and the order Odonata of dragonflies and damselflies. This dragonfly (eastern amberwing, Perithemis tenera) is a magnificent creature with gold or amber wings. It can be found typically near slow-moving and quiet waters throughout the USA, east of the Great Plains, and in Mexico in the south. They are also commonly known as low-flying amberwing insects.
What class of animal does an eastern amberwing belong to?
The eastern amberwing belongs to the Insecta class.
How many eastern amberwings are there in the world?
The population of this magnificent species is yet to be evaluated. However, their range is extensive in the United States.
Where does an eastern amberwing live?
This dragonfly species inhabits slow-moving and quiet waters throughout the USA, east of the Great Plains, and is also found in Mexico in the south. This species of dragonflies is prevalent from Maine to Arizona, across the central and eastern United States. They are also very common in Wisconsin.
What is an eastern amberwing's habitat?
The eastern amberwing habitat is quite specific, with this dragonfly being very territorial over its territory. This intelligent species of dragonfly does not forget the location it inhabits. It is the place where it roosts, breeds, and hunts for food. These small creatures even memorize the paths in their territory. Males are loyal and are very attached to their territory, with the feeling heightened if it's a place they have bred. A male is not bothered about protecting any territory where he loses to his rival. The location for the female to lay eggs is considered an important one by the male and is defended by him during the daytime. If the territory of this male catches the eye of another male who is feistier, he might be able to evict him.
Who do eastern amberwings live with?
The eastern amberwing, Perithemis tenera, is a solitary insect. The male is highly territorial and only allows an eastern amberwing female to cross its territory to breed. They are extremely tiny in size, but are still fierce when it comes to guarding their territory which has a diameter of approximately 5 ft (152.4 cm) and possesses an egg-laying location in the middle.
How long does an eastern amberwing live?
An eastern amberwing, Perithemis tenera, lives for only a year.
How do they reproduce?
Males of this species surely know how to court females. They have a detailed ritual to woo the female. The male is known to fly right over the water, (giving them their name, low flying amberwing), to keep an eye over the territory of his choice, his egg-laying area. This area is defended strenuously along with a display of his magnificent wings. When a female is nearby, he begins to court her by following her and moving back and forth with his abdomen raised. The female will follow him if she is impressed and the female will lay the eggs alone after mating. The tip of her abdomen releases a blob, that explodes when it gets dipped in water. This blob releases about 150 eggs.
What is their conservation status?
This species is yet to be evaluated by the IUCN. However, it is widespread in the United States and does not suffer from any significant threats.
Eastern Amberwing Fun Facts
What do eastern amberwings look like?
These small creatures have bright orange-colored wings that have veins all over them. Their abdominal segment possesses yellow and brown stripes that are similar to those on a wasp. They also resemble a wasp when they mimic their behavior by flicking their tail. However, unlike wasps, this species does not possess antennas. This species has very large, odd-looking, red eyes with red pterostigma (colored cells in its outer wings).
How cute are they?
These dragonflies have a magnificent appearance mainly due to their wings. Their amber-colored wings look radiant glowing in the sun's rays.
How do they communicate?
These tiny creatures communicate with each other through their flight movements, mainly during the courtship period.
How big is an eastern amberwing?
The length of this species ranges between 0.8-0.9 in (2-2.2 cm), similar to the average length of many Reduviidae insects.
How fast can an eastern amberwing move?
The speed of this species has not been evaluated yet. However, they are known to fly really low, close to the surface of the water giving them their 'low flying amberwing' common name. Generally, the average speed of dragonflies is 9.9 mph (16 kph) with their top speed being 22–34 mph (35.4–54.7 kph).
How much does an eastern amberwing weigh?
The weight of these second smallest dragonflies is not known yet. We do know the average weight of dragonflies is 0.014 oz (0.3 g).
What are their male and female names of the species?
There is no particular name for males and females of this species of dragonflies.
What would you call a baby eastern amberwing?
Their babies are known as naiads or nymphs!
What do they eat?
These creatures are insectivores by nature and feed upon small insects which they catch in flight. They are preyed upon by large birds like falcons and common kingfishers.
Are they harmful?
No, these small creatures are not dangerous to humans. However, they can bite as a self-defense mechanism.
Would they make a good pet?
Yes, dragonflies make fun and exciting, yet tough and challenging pets. You can get a nymph and feed it mosquito larvae, worms, aquatic insects, and small fish and tadpoles.
Did you know...
Dragonflies can consume food that weighs as much as their own weight in half an hour!
Naming the eastern amberwing
They were named so because of their eastern range. However, this species continues to exist in the western part of the USA as well.
Amberwing males versus females
The wings of female amberwings possess brown colored spots on them whereas the wings of a male are entirely amber. Both the male and female have a red pterostigma (colored cells in outer wings).
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